The alluring narrative that India is a global agricultural powerhouse reveals little of the plight of 86% of the country’s smallholder farmers. Trapped in a vicious cycle of low-intensity farming, low yields and limited market access, they battle with meagre incomes and little hope for change. There is a need to reimagine India’s agriculture and food system to connect agritech solutions to farmers through a structured channel.
At Social Alpha, we launched the India Agritech Incubation Network (IAIN) to create an enabling ecosystem for innovators and entrepreneurs developing technology-based solutions that increase the productivity and income of smallholder farmers in India. IAIN is a joint initiative with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Tata Trusts, in partnership with Collectives for Integrated Livelihood Initiatives and Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.
The second edition of our Agritech Innovations Challenge saw over 140 applications from startups with transformative technologies that address challenges faced by smallholder farmers in Uttar Pradesh. These startups were evaluated through a 5-stage process and shortlisted based on Problem-Solution Fit, Social Impact, Technology innovation, Unique Value Proposition, Financials, Sustainability, Operational Scalability, Roadmap and Team.
Depending on the life stage of their venture, selected startups will launch pilots in Uttar Pradesh and receive support on product development, access to seed investment/grant funding, on-ground feedback, state-of-the-art labs, technical expertise and office amenities at IIT-Kanpur. Additionally, startups will also be given credits worth INR 10 lakhs to avail incubation services. Each startup will be guided on business practices, go-to-market strategy, designing and developing their product, rapid prototyping, and design for manufacturing.
We are proud to announce the 17 winning startups working in three critical areas of agriculture that form the core of our agritech thesis.
- Improving productivity and yield intensification.
Kheyti Tech: Cost-effective modular greenhouse solutions that increase yield significantly and require one-tenth of the water and pesticides needed for farms.
MiviPro Products: Natural & effective solutions to improve vegetative growth and protect crops from animal attacks.
BomLife: Cost-effective bio-fertiliser, bio-pest and fungal control agents.
BioPrime AgriSolutions: Making crops climate-resilient by using next-generation biologicals.
Grassroots Energy: Processing the slurry from biogas operations with a microbial consortium to provide an integrated nutrient solution for crop inputs.
Kamal Kisan: Saving the farmers time and income by designing, developing and manufacturing relevant agricultural equipment.
Hueristic Devices: Helping farmers conduct soil testing to estimate the concentration of nutrients and provide appropriate fertiliser recommendations.
BharatRohan: Enabling farmers to successfully cultivate crops with the use of UAV/drone-based Remote Sensing and artificial intelligence.
Greymatter Technologies: Reducing the dependencies of decision-making for farmers by decoupling input purchase and credit access.
- Minimising post-harvest losses and encouraging other value-added activities
GreenPod Labs: Using nanotechnology to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables during storage and transport.
New Leaf Dynamics: Refrigeration systems powered by biomass or farm waste.
Tan 90 Thermal Solutions: Decentralised cold storage solutions to transport perishables in a cost-effective, monitored, and safe manner.
MistEO: Bringing parametric insurance in agriculture and growing the discipline focusing on computation and financial mitigation solutions addressed to meet sustainability targets.
- Enhancing rural livelihoods through agri and allied activities.
Pashu Bajaar: Creating access to consistent markets and high-quality inputs for the goat-rearing community leading to high-quality breed and better price realisation.
Jaljeevika Infotech: Access to low-cost equipment, quality inputs, knowledge and consistent market access for high dependency on aquaculture for livelihoods.
Krimanshi Technologies: Producing sustainable & highly nutritious feed systems for animals.
Aqgromalin: Increasing the livelihoods of small landholders by enabling them to diversify into animal husbandry, aquaculture and other allied activities.
We are confident that this new wave of startups dedicating their time, energy and resources will disrupt the food system and pave the way for India to become a powerhouse of agri-tech innovations.